BYU COUGARS (5-0, 1-0 MWC) vs. NEW MEXICO (3-3, 1-1 MWC)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
LaVell Edwards Stadium (64,045)
4 p.m. MT
BYU, Bronco Mendenhall (33-10 in fourth season; same overall) UNM, Rocky Long (64-64 in 11th season; same overall)
BYU leads, 42-14-1, after the Cougars' 31-24 win in Albuquerque on Sept. 29, 2007
The Mtn. (Tim Neverett, Blaine Fowler, Sammy Linebaugh)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Marc Lyons, game analyst; Nate Meikle, sideline)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the football schedule page at www.byucougars.com
BYU (5-0, 1-0 MWC) returns to league action against New Mexico (3-3, 1-1) at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday. The Cougars have won 15 straight games, the program's longest win streak since the 1983-85 seasons. A win on Saturday would give the Cougars a 6-0 start to the season, their best since 2001. A win would also grant BYU bowl eligibility status with six wins on the season. The Lobos are coming off a 24-0 shutout win over conference foe Wyoming, a team the Cougars shut out three weeks ago. Game time on Saturday is scheduled for 4 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast nationally on The Mtn.
THE BYU-NEW MEXICO SERIES
BYU tries for its 18th straight Mountain West Conference victory against New Mexico on Saturday. The Cougars hold an all-time record of 42-14-1 against the Lobos, including a 21-5 record over New Mexico in Provo. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is 3-0 against his former team, and the Cougars have not lost in Provo since the 2004 season. The two teams first played each other in 1951 with New Mexico shutting out BYU, 34-0. The Lobos would win eight of the teams' first 14 matchups. However, since 1965, the Cougars have won 37 of 43 contests against New Mexico, including 16 in a row from 1981-96. BYU defeated the Lobos in Albuquerque last season by a score of 31-24, claiming its first road victory of the season. New Mexico finished the 2007 season with an overall record of 9-4 and a trip to the New Mexico Bowl.
ON THE TUBE
Saturday's game will be broadcast live to a nation television audience on The Mtn. Tim Neverett will call the action with former BYU quarterback Blaine Fowler lending expert analysis. Sammy Linebaugh will report from the sidelines. A 22-year veteran sportscaster, Neverett covers the Colorado Rockies, Colorado Crush and University of Denver hockey and lacrosse for FSN Rocky Mountain, various sporting events for CSTV and Versus, and anchors Press Box on KLZ-560 AM. Tim has covered three Olympic Games, and reported on hockey, skiing, baseball, soccer and softball for ESPN2 and ESPN International. As a member of the Cougars' 1984 National Championship team, Fowler has been around BYU for over 25 years. He has served as a play-by-play analyst for a number of regional networks, including the Blue and White Sports Network. Linebaugh is a former news reporter for KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and has worked as a freelance reporter before joining The Mtn. as a reporter.
A LOOK BACK: BYU 34-UTAH STATE 14
Junior wide receiver Austin Collie
This will be the 15th time BYU has faced New Mexico as a ranked team, including the fifth occasion with a top-10 ranking. BYU has a 14-1 record as a ranked team when facing New Mexico. Under Bronco Mendenhall, BYU is 1-0 as a ranked team against the Lobos with its 42-17 victory on Nov. 18, 2006, when the Cougars were ranked No. 23 in the AP Top-25 and No. 24 in the Coaches' Poll. The last time BYU played as a top-10 team against UNM was on Oct. 27, 1990, when BYU (No. 7 UPI/No. 9 AP) won 55-31 on Homecoming weekend. BYU is 4-0 against the Lobos as a top-10 team with wins in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1990. New Mexico gained its lone victory over a ranked Cougar team when the Lobos upset BYU in the 1980 season opener. The Cougars entered the game ranked No. 19 in the preseason UPI poll before falling 25-21 in Albuquerque. BYU went on to win its final 12 games in 1980 to finish with a 12-1 record after a 46-45 Holiday Bowl victory over SMU.
COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN
With its 34-14 win over Utah State, BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 15 consecutive games. The Cougars have put together their longest win streak since winning 15 straight games during the 1983-85 seasons. BYU's 5-0 record this season marks its best start since the 2001 season.
EDWARDS' STADIUM STREAK NOW SPANS THREE SEASONS
With BYU's 44-0 shutout of Wyoming, the Cougars have not lost in Edwards Stadium since November 19, 2005. BYU has won 15 straight home games, dating back to September 9, 2006. The last time the Cougars won 15 consecutive home games was 16 seasons ago when the team won 17 in a row from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991. Over that span, the Cougars have beaten their opponents by an average of 29.5 points per game and have allowed just 10.1 points per game. The Cougars have allowed seven points or less in eight of the last 15 home games.
The 64,059 fans in attendance for the Cougars' 44-0 win over Wyoming marked the ninth consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1991-92 seasons. Over 192,000 (192,320) fans have attended the first three home games at Edwards Stadium this season, averaging 64,107 fans per game After averaging 64,497 in 2007, BYU finished ranked fourth overall in the West behind USC (87,476), UCLA (76,379) and Washington (67,732). BYU has annually been the top school in average attendance for teams from conferences that do not receive automatic BCS bowl bids. BYU has led the MWC in home attendance in all nine years of the league's existence. In fact, Edwards Stadium has been the site of the league's all-time top-10 crowds.
COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM
After Friday's win against Utah State, the Cougars are 143-41 when nationally ranked in the Top -25. Dating back to 2006, BYU has won 12 consecutive games while being nationally ranked, its longest win streak as a ranked team since winning 12 straight in 1996.
TAKE YOUR PICK
Linebacker David Nixon
The Cougars put together a run of 137 unanswered points over the past three games before the Aggies scored a touchdown with 13:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. The stretch consisted of shutout wins over UCLA and Wyoming, 59-0 and 44-0, respectively, as well as a 24-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter against Utah State. Over that time BYU held its opponents scoreless in 11 straight quarters.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
Junior Austin Collie
BYU lost the opening coin toss for the first time this season as the game against Utah State got underway. The Aggies elected to receive. BYU is now 1-0 when losing the opening coin toss.
BYU has recovered 11 fumbles throughout the first five games of the season, combining for 9 against UCLA, Wyoming and Utah State. The Cougars recovered only four fumbles the entire 2007 season.
FUMBLES FOR THE SCORE
In the first quarter against Utah State, sophomore defensive back Brandon Bradley
Quarterback Max Hall
Forced and recovered turnovers have resulted in fast scoring drives for the Cougars, who have put together eight scoring drives of a minute or less so far this season, including two against Utah State. In only five games, this number beats the total of seven recorded in 2007. BYU's second quarter scoring drive of six seconds agaisnt UCLA, marked the shortest Cougar scoring drive since a three-yard touchdown run by Harvey Unga
Junior Austin Collie
With his 132 yards receiving against the Aggies, Collie now has 2,235 career receiving yards, surpassing Glen Kozlowski as No. 8 on BYU's all-time record list. The junior needs only 133 more yards to pass Chris Smith with 2,367 yards and claim the No. 7 spot.
With his two touchdowns against the Aggies, Collie now has 22 career touchdowns, needing only four more to make it into BYU's top 10. Pete Van Valkenberg and Eric Lane currently hold the No. 10 spot with 26 career touchdowns.
DENNEY BRINGS THE HEAT
Junior defensive lineman had a strong showing against Utah State, recording four tackles for a loss and one sack. Denney had only one tackle for a loss throughout the first four games of the season.
GOING FOR IT
BYU attempted its first fourth-down conversion attempt of the season, on fourth-and-one with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter against the Aggies. The Cougars were successful, with Harvey Unga
After attempting only two field goals in the first four games of the season, the Cougars kicked four FG attempts against the Aggies. Sophomore kicker Mitch Payne
Freshman wide receiver O'Neill Chambers made his first career start last Friday, after seeing the majority of his playing time on kick returns. Friday also marked kicker Justin Sorensen
Three Cougars recorded sacks against Utah State, including, Brett Denney
All totaled, BYU has recorded 13 shutout quarters thru the first five games of the season, including 11 scoreless quarters in the past three games. BYU has outscored or tied its opponent in every quarter except two.
DON'T LOOK BACK
In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 31-4 when leading at halftime and 30-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
FIRST HALF DOMINANCE
The Cougars held a 24-0 lead at halftime against Utah State, marking the 15th time in the past 16 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half 11 times in 16 games. During those 16 games BYU is 15-1.
The UCLA game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds
BYU's starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 326.4 pounds and average 6-feet-6. The front five will be going up against a New Mexico defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-2, 276 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the New Mexico offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-4, 312 pounds per man.